Can’t see the Wood for the Trees?

It can be hard to make sense of things in this ever changing world in which we live. We seem to be deluged on a daily basis with problems which should, at face value, have relatively straightforward solutions yet, the more we dig into them the more complicated they become. The internet and the rise of social media has enabled the instant communication and discussion of ideas on a global scale hitherto unimaginable. Like the discovery of oil this is both a blessing and a curse.

The internet and social media (not both the same thing) can have many downsides. As well as attracting criminals and socially unacceptable behaviour and so on it can also cause information overload when examining  problems which require urgent solutions. This is fairly well understood by most people but there is a downside which seems to be passing most people by. That is the potential for misuse by governments and politicians.

If we care to look around the world there are already examples of how the internet and social media are being used by governments which are alarming. There are stories about China for example where people’s normal day to day privileges and freedoms have been put on a points system. By the wonder of surveillance technologies, any transgression from the acceptable norm results in points being deducted and penalties imposed. This is way past Orwell’s 1984.

Here at home we have had the Cambridge Analytica revelations and all that has transpired from that. Of course, this is the only one we know about. How many other, similar companies are out there?  Stories of the Tories setting up temporary call centres and paying people to target specific profiled voters. Surprising election results likeTory gains in Scotland which don’t make sense. So called ‘Scottish’ Tory ‘Dark Money’ questions still unanswered and could this have anything to do with digital currency? We know that the UK Government (they announced it themselves) employ people to monitor the internet in the name of protecting us. Is that all they are doing? Social media being used to abuse and threaten. False news. UK Government threats to curb on line free speech. All this in what is claimed to be the leading light of democracy in the world.

Most people today are too busy trying to earn a living to notice what is going on and that is precisely how Governments like it.

It is becoming increasingly difficult to trust the outcomes of referenda and elections as being honest and fair. One thing is for sure, Scotland deserves better than this. If the whole Brexit thing looks to be one big suspicious mess, that’s because it is. The UK is broken beyond repair and it is way past time that Scotland took back her full powers and began steering her own path through this increasingly chaotic world. In today’s world it is more dangerous than ever to let your decisions be made for you by another country. Open your eyes Scotland.